A community based approach for sustainable off-grid PV systems in developing countries

D. Frame, K. Tembo, M. J. Dolan, S. M. Strachan, G. W. Ault

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

29 Citations (Scopus)


The energy requirements of developing countries underpin progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Rural electrification is acknowledged as key to providing a source of reliable, affordable and sustainable energy. Many planners and decision makers agree that the off-grid PV system has the potential to become a valued and straightforward source of electricity for remote rural communities. However, there are several challenges that need to be addressed to realize the potential of PV as a sustainable solution. These challenges are illustrated and highlighted by many reported cases of poor sustainability/longevity of PV installation in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper reviews the sustainability of off-grid renewable energy deployments in sub-Saharan Africa along with recent attempts to define sustainable energy frameworks. The specific case of off-grid PV systems for improved educational and health facilities are considered and a community based approach for improved sustainability is proposed. Case studies illustrating practical implementation of this approach in Gambia and Malawi are described.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2011 IEEE power and energy society general meeting
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781457710018
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventGeneral Meeting of the IEEE-Power-and-Energy-Society (PES) - Detroit, United States
Duration: 24 Jul 201128 Jul 2011

Publication series

NameIEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting PESGM
ISSN (Print)1944-9925


ConferenceGeneral Meeting of the IEEE-Power-and-Energy-Society (PES)
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • sustainable energy
  • distributed energy
  • off-grid
  • renewable energy
  • community based approach
  • developing countries


Dive into the research topics of 'A community based approach for sustainable off-grid PV systems in developing countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this